We recently received the news that Mary is eligible to practice nursing in New Zealand. Currently, she has a recruiter in Auckland chasing down job leads for her. Though the possibility of living in New Zealand for an extended period of time is exciting, I have to remember that happiness will not come from the place where I live. Happiness is something I must cultivate with every action I take in each and every moment.
I often harbor the hope that a change in geography will create a change in me, that it will scratch the itch of restlessness that I often feel. Sometimes this pans out, such as when I left Alabama to work in North Carolina. Sometimes, it doesn’t work so well. Visiting the Bahamas is nice, but living there is not something I wish to do again. A change can bring a fresh start, a chance to be someone new. But the unsettled and mildly unsatisfied aspects of my psyche inevitably follow me wherever I go. No amount of distance can allow me to escape from myself. When I do not tend to the cause of my dissatisfaction, no stunning beach or breathtaking mountain vista satisfies me for very long.
I’ll have to remember this while I’m in that far away land, with a new panoply of stars spinning over my head, homesick for friends and family 10,000 miles away. Like my restlessness, a deep contentment also lies within me and it is up to me to encourage it to rise to the surface of consciousness. Wherever I am, there is a quiet, still place inside me that assures me that all I have is all I will ever need and that I am never truly alone.